Friday, May 23, 2008

Funny Math at the L.A. Times

I sat down to read the paper at breakfast this morning and noted the top headline, "Californians Barely Reject Gay Marriage."

Curious, I read the article...and found that Californians oppose gay marriage, 54% to 35%.

A 19 point difference is "barely"?

The paper assures us that "controversial topics often lose support during the course of a campaign."

Regardless of one's opinion on the issue, hopefully we can all agree that a newspaper fudging the numbers to support their preferred position is troubling.

Patterico reminds us of the Times' odd use of poll numbers during the last Presidential campaign, when Bush leading Kerry by 16% in Arizona meant that state was "in play," but Kerry leading Bush by 15% in California meant California was securely in Kerry's corner.

Saturday Update: Patterico contrasts the Times' reporting of the gay marriage poll with their reporting of an Obama-McCain poll which is in today's paper. Obama is up on McCain by 7 points, within the poll's margin of error (that's a pretty big margin!), yet the paper says "Obama Would Take California in November." But gay marriage is "barely" rejected by 19 points, and the paper hastens to assure us that the measure will likely lose support by this fall!


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